One ‘Heddlu Cymru’ by 2030 the way forward says police chief
The Chief Constable of one of Wales’ four police forces has called for them to be merged into one ‘Heddlu Cymru’ by 2030.
Dr Richard Lewis, who was the Chief Constable of Cleveland Police before being appointed to the Dyfed-Powys role, said that it would lead to a more efficient service across the country.
They are currently split into North Wales Police, Dyfed-Powys Police, South Wales Police and Gwent Police, with four different Police and Crime Commissioners in charge of those areas.
“Doing away with those borders means we can provide a more effective service,” Richard Lewis told the BBC.
“One chief constable rather than four. One deputy chief constable. Dare I say one commissioner instead of four.
“Police Scotland had a difficult start but I think they’re now seeing the benefits of having one national service in Scotland.
“We can learn the lessons, of course, from those early days in Scotland… creating national structures in the IT world et cetera.”
The Home Office responded that the existing police force structure in Wales meant that “everyone has a direct say on policing in their area through their locally elected and accountable police and crime commissioner”.
“Chief constables and police and crime commissioners collaborate with other forces on a wide range of functions to improve the service they provide to the public,” they said.
Richard Lewis’ comments come after the Senedd debated the idea of devolving policing and justice to Wales earlier this month.
The Welsh Conservatives described the idea as “operational and financial lunacy”.
North Wales Police had “a closer affiliation with north-west England than the rest of Wales” Tory Senedd Member Mark Isherwood said.
Richard Lewis declined to comment on the idea of devolving policing, saying that it was a political decision.
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The biggest single force in the UK, the Met is widely acknowledged as a corrupt, racist, mysoginist failure. Having got rid of a nasty piece of work who thought shooting Brazilian plumbers was OK they have Sir Stephen House in charge. He was the first head of a unified Scottish police force, sent out regular armed patrols in public and oversaw a vast growth in stop and search using racial and social profiling while making back office cuts he blamed for a car accident victim left for three days to a long and painful death. He “retired” in 2015 saying… Read more »
Less so if its H.Q was placed in Mid Wales. It’s the Cardiff centred thinking that ruins any move to national bodies in any field. The capital is overcrowded, log jammed but the toxic combination of political influence ( corruption?) and lobbying by developers is not likely to stop until someone steps on it.
Hope we get N-S highway sorted before this? China could do it for us, as they have great experience with similar terrain. (See J.Clarkson “In Britain, we are doomed)
At present we have a Senedd Cymru legislature that’s overseen by an English Criminal Justice System, not English & Welsh, that most Unionist claim. This is a fallacy. English Law is copied & pasted then applied to Wales. Wales needs the devolution of our Criminal & Youth Justice Systems inline with the other devolved nations of Britain. No lame excuses. This can be achieved within the framework of the United Kingdom. So reframe from the usual ” we are British” or “no need to fix something that’s no broken” often quoted by Red Tory Labour MPs and English Conservative Unionists… Read more »
Interesting that the ‘Home’ Office touts local accountability being vital in this context – the moment that a Welsh ‘National’ body is suggested….. yet seeks to stifle general devolution of responsibility and the accountability that naturally flows from that.
I don’t believe that this is the best way forward. Anyone wondering about reforming public services should listen to the Hiraeth podcast with Steve Thomas from the 24th Feb. Any reorganisation should be done only to deliver better services. Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better – coming up with arbitrary numbers doesn’t help either. The starting point should be discussions with the relevant stakeholders. I don’t particularly like commisioners as an office. I wonder if we need to took at public services in the round. What services should be run by whom? I also wonder if the right approach is to… Read more »
Perhaps it would be an idea to merge North Wales Police and Dyfed Powys Police whilst also merging South Wales Police with Gwent Police first of all. If that is a success, then it might be time to create one all-Wales Police Force around a decade after that.